The retail ecommerce spending, beginning November 1 and ending December 23, was about $25.5 billion, down 3 percent compared to last year.
“The 2008 online holiday shopping season has declined 3 percent versus year ago, falling behind our expectation of flat sales this year,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “This marks the first time we’ve seen negative growth rates for the holiday season since we began tracking e-commerce in 2001. The combination of having five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the severe economic headwinds faced by consumers has made this a really tough season for retailers, both offline and online.”
MasterCard’s SpendingPulse unit has also said ecommerce sales were down 2% compared with last year. Hitwise, which measures traffic to 500 retail Web sites as a percentage of overall Web traffic, visits to ecommerce Web sites during the holiday season were down slightly compared with the same period last year.
And rich people apparently seemed to shop less as well:
“Visits to these 500 ecommerce sites in December from people with household incomes over $150,000 dropped 12% from the same month in 2007. Visits from people in other demographics were more or less unchanged.”
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